Om Maker

Wellness with Janina Church
April 20th, 2012

Hibiscus Cooler to the rescue

The  weather man said it was going to be hot today. I am such a hot weather wienie, so such news sent me into my usual hot weather freak out…

First make a batch of Hibiscus cooler. Then get errands done before noon so I can retreat to my cool cave (north facing master bedroom) with a chilled glass of Hibiscus Cooler avoiding the hottest part of the day. Whew!

Hibiscus Cooler

 

Hibiscus is a sacred flower in India used to balance first and second chakra disorders. Hibiscus flowers help purify the blood, support the circulatory system, reproductive system and kidney function, improve complexion and promote hair growth. The flowers can be made into a refreshing drink to eliminate excess heat from the body. Hibiscus is rich in vitamin C, so this drink can be taken in the winter served warm with a little extra ginger to help relieve and prevent the flu.

 

Hibiscus Cooler Recipe

8 cups of water

4 cinnamon sticks

1/2 cup dried hibiscus leaves

1 teaspoon -1 1/2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger (use less ginger in warmer weather, use more ginger in cooler weather)

Natural sweetener of your choice-honey, agave or maple syrup

In medium saucepan boil water. Add hibiscus flowers, cinnamon and ginger. Cover pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Sweeten to taste. Serve chilled with a sprig of mint or warm in the winter with a lemon wedge.

Enjoy!

 

March 7th, 2012

Natural Homemade Deodorant

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Time to make deodorant

I have been making and using this deodorant for about two years now and am pretty pleased with it.  My husband uses it and have turned a few friends on to it. My daughter has just started needing deodorant and I am happy that I have this natural alternative for her. The ingredients are things you may already have around the house and if not, are easily attained at your local market or health food store. I recycle my empty stick deodorant container and refill it as needed. Here is what you will need to make your own:

  • A bowl
  • an empty stick deodorant container
  • 1/4 cup Baking Soda
  • 1/4 cup Cornstarch or Arrowroot Powder
  • 2 Tbs Coconut Oil
  • 8-10 drops Pure Essential Oil (optional) I use either lavender or tea tree, both have antiseptic qualities. You are welcome to use any other oil that agrees with you or none at all.

Measure out the baking soda and cornstarch or arrowroot powder, place in a bowl and with a spoon mix well. Next add the coconut oil and the essential oil. Mix again, scraping the sides and mashing the mixture together with the back of he spoon. At this point, it’s still going to look dry and powdery. This is when you ditch the spoon and use your hands. Knead the mixture by picking up palm fulls and squeezing it in your hands. As you do this the coconut oil will warm up and start to melt, allowing the ingredients to blend. When the mixture can be formed into a ball, it’s done. Screw down your empty deodorant container about half way and start packing the mixture into it. *Do this part quickly, as the more you handle the mixture the more it will melt and you may end up with a soupy mess.* Once you have filled up your container, wipe off the container and place it in the fridge for about an hour to help it firm up. Use when ready.

 

FYI- On super stinky days, I may have to reapply, but I often had to do this with commercial deodorants. Also, coconut oil melts easily, so when we travel to warmer climates I put it in a plastic baggy so it doesn’t make a mess in my suitcase. Aside from these two minor issues I think it works fabulous!

Namaste~

 

January 8th, 2012

5 Tips for Weight Loss

Here are a few tips to help you lose some weight the safe and natural Ayurvedic way!

 

1. Reduce stress

Studies have shown that minimizing stress can help you shed some unwanted pounds and keep it off. Stress throws us into “flight or fight” mode. When in this mode the body produces a stress fighting hormone called cortisol which triggers the body to pour stored sugar from the liver and muscles into the blood stream. This causes insulin levels to elevate to be available for our body to make emergency actions-like run away from a tiger. High amounts of insulin inhibit the burning of fat for energy and store the fat for later use. The body responds to this by craving more emergency fuel (food) that is high carbohydrates and sugar. In an emergency our body needs these quick energy foods to “fight or flee”. (Skipping meals or starvation diets also create this emergency reaction in the body) Sadly due to our fast paced modern society we are constantly living in this state of emergency even if we don’t outwardly feel it.

Even just 5 minutes a day of a stress reducing exercises ( yoga, breathing techniques, meditation ect.) can nourish the body and shift your mental perspective.

2. Make lunch your largest and main meal.

Anytime between 10am and 2pm is the best time to eat your lunch, which should also be your largest meal. Your body’s fire element governs digestion and is at it’s peak during this time, thus metabolism is at it’s peak. Making lunch your main meal of the day will also keep the body nourished and satisfied until dinner time, and make it so you don’t feel that you need that big of a dinner. This is assuming that lunch was not just a big plate of nachos and a diet soda. Which brings me to my next tip…

3. Cut out processed food as much as possible!

I have a friend who says she only eats what God has made. Truth be said, most packaged food is not really food. Some of it will claim to have some version of fresh food in it, and if it actually does, it’s not enough to truly call nourishing, life or energy packed food. Processed food is jammed with preservatives that are toxic to the body. Whole foods are naturally low fat and can help you maintain steady energy in your body. A good way to start is try eating only food that doesn’t come from a wrapper, package, can or fast food window.  Eat only what has come from the earth for a few weeks and I bet you will notice a difference in your body.

4. Pause before you eat and while you eat.

Make time for your meal. Before scarfing down that deliciously healthy plate of cooked veggies and rice, take a few moments to calm the senses. Say a blessing, prayer, or simply sit quietly for a breath or two. Calming the self before eating can set the pace for your meal and prepare the body for food and the digestion of it. During your meal, pause between bites or better yet, set down your fork long enough to thoroughly chew your food as digestion actually starts in the mouth with chewing. Try focusing on eating. No eating in front of the computer, television or worse on the run. If we eat in a hurry, we are less likely to digest it properly. Improperly digested food creates toxins in the body which clogs it up and bogs it down. Eating in a hurry is also stressful to the body, and remember reducing stress is is number one.

5. Eat only when your hungry.

Many of us eat when we are not truly hungry. Due to our busy schedules we eat when the time clock tells us to and not when our bodies do. Some of us eat out of boredom or snack all day and never really experience that true hunger feeling. That feeling in your gut that says “feed me!” is also telling you that your body’s digestive enzymes are ready to get to work and metabolize food. Do yourself a favor and take advantage of your body’s natural fat burning abilities. This might take some adjusting of your schedule, but hey it’s your body and it’s worth it.

 

Give these a try and you just may notice difference in your body. If  practicing all these tips seem too big of a change, try adding one tip into your routine for a while and see how you feel. Then slowly add on one more tip and them another.

Be well~

Janina